News & Analysis

  1. elsewhere

    Google brings Project Tango into the company proper

    Google has brought Project Tango, its effort to create devices aware of their environments, out from its Advanced Technology and Projects group and into Google itself. It’s not clear how that will affect the project or into what products it might be integrated now that it’s more than just an experiment. [Source: Google]
  3. cookies

    Verizon plans to let consumers opt out of its invasive “perma-cookie” program

    Verizon will soon allow consumers to “completely opt out” of the program which assigns permanent identifiers to every device on the carrier’s wireless network. These identifiers have been referred to as “perma-cookies” because they allow other companies, not just Verizon, to gather information about consumers even after they change their privacy settings or remove other data-saving files from their devices. Verizon previously allowed its customers to opt out of having information gathered by these “perma-cookies” from being used to inform Verizon’s advertising,…
  4. hack

    Russian dating site pays hacker to recover stolen emails, but don’t call it a ransom

    Russian dating service Topface has paid a hacker an undisclosed sum to return 20 million customer email addresses he stole — but the company would prefer if you wouldn’t refer to the exchange of goods for stolen information as a ransom, thank you very much. The hacker is said to have made off with only the email addresses; he didn’t get the passwords associated with those emails, nor did he compromise any payments data. Topface claims that it doesn’t manage any…
  5. Dark Uber

    Uber sued in California by Delhi rape victim, compared to “electronic hitchhiking”

    A 26-year-old New Delhi woman has sued Uber in California in response to her alleged December 6 rape by one of the company’s transportation network drivers (full complaint below). Identified only as Jane Doe in the complaint, the alleged victim accuses the company of negligence, fraud, and battery, among other claims. The complaint reads, in part: Through its relentless marketing efforts, Uber has urged the public to defy common sense and undermine every parent’s edict – “don’t get in the car…
  7. pando-inside-baseball

    AOL “folds” Joystiq, TUAW into Engadget

    AOL is planning to “fold” Joystiq (a game-focused site) and TUAW (the Unofficial Apple Weblog) into its larger tech website, Engadget, the AOL-owned TechCrunch reports. It’s not clear how many of the publications’ writers will still have jobs after their closure, or how the sites will be brought into Engadget. [Source: TechCrunch]
  8. uber

    Uber’s rape, privacy woes continue

    Uber’s problems continue today with the news that an Indian woman who alleges she was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi has sued the company in California, while Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pushes the company to answer his questions concerning its privacy policies and practices. [Source: Time, Business Insider]
  9. google_cameras_big_feature

    Google settles with UK watchdog to protect consumer privacy

    Google has agreed to change its privacy policy after an investigation from the United Kingdom’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, decided the existing policy wasn’t clear enough for consumers to understand. The issue stems from the consolidation of around 70 privacy policies into a single policy in March 2012. In a statement, the ICO said this resulted in vague guidelines that didn’t make it clear what data was being gathered, or how it would be used. The updated terms have already…
  11. strictly-business

    Secret co-founder departs

    Secret co-founder Chrys Bader-Wechseler has left the company because it’s clear “the next chapter of Secret is beginning in a way that will be less about the kind of creation and design that I love.” In other words: he’s not happy that Secret now looks like a color-shifted rip-off of the Yik Yak application. [Source: Secret]
  12. uber-bullshit

    Flywheel calls bullshit on Uber’s claims that it’s three times bigger than SF’s taxi industry

    One of the biggest arguments critics make when calling into question Uber’s sky-high $40 billion valuation is that the company can’t possibly be worth that much — because that’s bigger than the entire existing taxi industry it’s disrupting. But if you believe Travis Kalanick, the gremlin in a sport coat who runs Uber, his company is already bigger than the taxi market in its home market of San Francisco. Speaking at the DLD Conference in Munich earlier this month, Kalanick claimed
  14. The Social Network

    From “Selma” to “Social Network,” stop complaining when historical fiction plays loose with facts

    “I think it’s such a big disconnect from the way people who make movies think about what we do in Silicon Valley — building stuff. They just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.” – Mark Zuckerberg on The Social Network One of the most hated movies in Silicon Valley, particularly among those who have been around the scene for a while, is unquestionably The Social Network. Not only does…
  15. redballdog

    Startups Anonymous: Serial entrepreneurs have a problem with shiny red balls — and that’s okay

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we’ll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] Ask most people if you should…
  16. weed-startups

    How pot startups are rewriting the playbook for Silicon Valley disruption

    Software will eat everything, they say. But it has mostly abstained from the legal marijuana economy, stymied by the uncertainty of enhancing shareholder value in a line of business that was at best an extension of the health care industry and at worst a felonious traffic in dangerous drugs, depending on your jurisdiction. But software is voracious, and hungrily seeks new inputs. At the same time, across the country, marijuana is enjoying a thaw in public opinion that, like attitudes…
  18. stewartbutterfieldsponsored

    Join us and Slack/Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield for our first PandoMonthly of 2015

    Last year, our PandoMonthly lineup was heavy on founders and CEOs of giant public companies — like Jerry Yang of Yahoo, Aneel Bhusri of Workday, and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn. This year, I wanted to get back to the roots of early-stage entrepreneurship a bit more. So we’re launching our schedule with the founder of one of the hottest startups which caught fire out of nowhere last year: Slack. Our first PandoMonthly of the year will be held…
  19. fcc-tom-wheeler

    FCC tells carriers to implement better location-tracking for emergency calls

    The FCC has unanimously approved a measure which will require wireless carriers to monitor a person’s location inside a building to enable more accurate emergency calls. The new rule will require carriers to provide the location of an emergency caller within a few stories — 50 meters horizontally and three meters vertically — to first responders. This is much more accurate than just providing a street address via the current system. Carriers will have to accurately provide this information for 67 percent of…
  20. assangegoogle

    Google did fight to reveal warrant for WikiLeaks journalists’ Gmail accounts, attorney says

    An attorney for Google has told the Washington Post that the company did fight a gag order preventing it from telling three WikiLeaks journalists their Gmail accounts were monitored by the Justice Department as the result of a warrant issued in March 2012. The statement was made in response to questions from WikiLeaks regarding Google’s compliance with the warrant, the existence of which it didn’t reveal to its subjects until December 2014, more than two-and-a-half years after the warrant…

The Week in Review